nixons left the white house, never did interviews, never wrote her own memoirs. and mrs. nixon was somebody i tried to bring to life in the book. >> you have written several historical fiction books, nonfiction, novels. how do you approach historical fiction? >> i always tell people who are contemplating writing it if they have not before, don't leave too much about the time you're writing about but from it. if you want to know how people thought, how they spoke, the way their minds worked, read what actually came out of the time. in other words, eliminate the middleman. this is why some historians are not very fond of historical fiction because it tries to do something different. historians also have to hedge their bets. well, at this point it is not
unreasonable to suppose that richard nixon might have fought. if you're a novelist you go inside his head and haven't ticket. is that history. it's more entertaining than is educational. it's one thing that genre can add to actual history. >> what is your day job? >> i teach at george washington university. >> talking here with thomas mallon.